GG102 Midterm Review
Human Geography Definition
- Examining and explaining the spatial distribution of human features and
activities, and impacts on the environment
- Within certain places, regions, or globally (spatial scale)
What is where, why there, and why care (Charles Grizner)
What is there? Why there? Why care?
- Descriptive - Explanation - Impacts
- Fascinating - Understanding
Tables Stats analysis
- Cognitive images representing a persons perceptions, feelings, memories,
meanings and knowledge of a location
- Not a physical map with lines and points. It captures everything (feelings)
- Not just spatial knowledge!
- What you see in your mind’s eye when you think of a place/area
Mental maps – every has one in their heads
Basic Elements of Mental Maps
- Paths: for movement
- Landmarks: Any physical reference point
- Nodes: Foci for travel (Ex: two paths that meet together)
- Districts: area that you enter (Ex: body of water)
- Boundaries & Edges: Between areas (Ex: line between water and land)
- Images and Stories: Variety of techniques to convey
A tool for representing a persons MM
- But not the only one
Tend to look like traditional maps and be:
- Incomplete Analogous to giving someone directions
Sketch Map Weaknesses
To focused on nodes, routes & landmarks
- Meanings and experiences (Hard to convey)
- Interconnections of information
- Underlying creation process
What could help capture these?
- Verbal, video, other technology
Mental maps are the “true” basis for all human behaviour and activities (Ex: what
are you going to consume, where are you going to go, etc – This is based on your
- Consumer decisions
- Residential choice
- Images of city districts
- Place marketing
- Emotional attachment to places
- Sense of identity and belonging
Key Concepts in Human Geography
Describing the earth:
- Space – areal extent, usually earth’s surface
- Location – a particular position within space. Can be absolute or relative
- Place – a location that has a particular identity (cultural, social, personal, etc)
- Region – Large area encompassing many places.
- Friction of …
Example: Laurier campus
Space: 45 acres in Waterloo, plus several outlying areas (Regina street, University
Location: 75 University Ave. West; long and lat.
Place: Growing, comprehensive university, mostly liberal arts, plus business, plus
Region: WLU is in Waterloo Region
- “Close to …”
- “About 2 blocks from … “
Absolute - Address
- Latitude & Longitude
- Angle (degrees & minutes) North or South of the equator
- Angle East or West of prime meridian
GPS – Global Positioning System
How It Works
- 24 Satellites orbiting the earth
o Actually 1000’s of satellites …
- Triangulation Figure 1 - Triangulation
Geographic Information System
GIS - What is it?
- An automated systems for the capture, storage,
retrieval, analysis, and display geographically-
- Modern Day Maps + Powerful analysis Techniques
- If you want to analyze data you use GIS, if you want a
map then you get a cartographer.
Vector vs. Raster Data
Map data structure using points or nodes and connecting lines as the basic building
blocks for representing geographical features
- Vector: Points , lines and polygons are basic building blocks
- Vector: You can make a happy face by putting points down and connecting them.
You can then put a grid on it to geographically locate them
- Vector: You could store the data in a table
Point Location Colour Point Connections 1 point 2 point
1… (1,1)… Blue..
5 6 RASTER DATA
- Data Structure for maps based on grid cells. Ex: Pixelated image
- Ex: Drawing a happy face. You draw a grid and shade in the squares where the
point is located
- Table: Should store each cell and it’s colour
- Vector is easier to store for databases, as you have to store every cell in raster
- Vector is more accurate, unless the raster grid is very large.
GIS Data Collection
- Remote Sensing (above the ground)
o Satellite Imagery (e.g. RADAR)
o Aerial photography
- GPS tracking
o Any point, lines, polygon data
- Ground truthing/field data
GIS Data Storage
- Much info is tied to “locations” …
o Server Based (i.e. MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server)
o PCBased (i.e. MS Access)
- Other Options
o In a GIS software
Classic Data Storage
- Can demo on board classic flat file data
storage – points, lines, polygons listed in
rows, “attributes” in columns.
- Professional (e.g. ESRI)
- Open source (e.g. qGIS)
o Anyone can have the software. Its free
- On-line(e.g. ClearMap)
- Public (e.g. Google Earth)
- GIS shows patterns in data we might not otherwise see
o Even the simplest “descriptive” maps help with
o More sophisticated analysis techniques move beyond description to
- ESRI products … on-line too …
- In Google Earth, explore point data, lines, polygons, 3-day buildings, flying, etc. Other Applications of GIS
- What would you use it for? Real Estate Analysis
- How might the following groups use it?
o Real estate agent
o Transit organization
What is student culture?
- Varied schedules (non 9-5)
- Low income
- Lots of substance use; experimentation
- Lack of firm responsibility
What is culture?
- A particular way of life
- A shared set of values, beliefs, attitudes, etc. (religious values, language, etc.)
- Shared social norms, family structure, interpersonal, relationships. SOCIOFACTS
- Material & symbolic practices of everyday life. ARTIFACTS (ex. person wearing a
backpack obviously a student)
What is Cultural Geography?
- How place/space/landscape affects and interacts with culture.
- “Signs” displayed in space that give off messages about identity, values, beliefs,
- Are you exhibiting any?
Geography and Language
- Distribution and diffusion of languages
o Is place-marking
o Used to describe our world
o Preserves our ancestry and where we came from Adaptation to Life in Harsh Environment
o Commonly understood system of signs, gestures, and vocal sounds
- Language family
o Collection of languages related in their origin
o Regional/spatial variations in language (pronunciations, grammar,
English on the Internet
- Lingua franca is the most dominant language. It is most known and best for
communication. Used as primary language in math, science, etc
- Loss of language can handicap a cultures future
o Sense of cultural identity
o Ability to describe phenomena Video Inuktitut Language Survival
What has led to the language extinction?
- When children stop using it
- Influence of the outside world
- Schools aren't teaching in the regional language, rather, the standard
Could it be reversed? How?
- Standardize the language in a region
- Changing the way it is taught in school
Will standardization help or hinder?
- It can make a difference. Greenlandic is the standard in Greenland.
If a group loses its language, does it lose its culture?
- Yes, sometimes. Depends on the culture
Globalization of Culture
- People are plugged into global economy and culture
- Despite globalization, people play specialized economic roles and preserve
Places and Culture
- Places have a unique mix of cultural traits such as:
o Ethnic make-up
o Economic Classes
o Livelihood types
o Specific folkways, mores, and sometimes taboos…
o Features of the built environment
o Average education levels of population
o Etc ….
- Cities have different cultures. Different classes, language, etc.
- Because of the process of globalization, two places and regions can display
similar economic and cultural features
- Thanks to modern communications, distant places are more closely connected to
- Spatial diffusion – “the way tha